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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Connacht 16-31 Leinster
Brian O'Driscoll made his first Magners League appearance of the season
Brian O'Driscoll tries to get away from Connacht's Matt Lacey

Connacht 16 (7)
Tries: Yapp
Cons: McHugh.
Pens: McHugh 2, Riordan

Leinster 31 (13)
Tries: Hogan, Easterby, Horgan, Hickie
Cons: Contepomi
Pens: Contepomi 2
Drop-goal: D'Arcy

Late tries from Shane Horgan and Denis Hickie enabled Leinster to pick up a bonus-point win in Friday's Magners League game against Connacht in Galway.

Tries from Trevor Hogan and replacement scrum-half Guy Easterby helped Leinster lead 13-0, although Darren Yapp replied with a Connacht try before half-time.

Connacht fought back to draw level at 16-16 as a surprise home win loomed.

However, Gordon D'Arcy's drop-goal restored Leinster's lead before the late scores from Horgan and Hickie.

Connacht fly-half Mark McHugh, a hero in the draw against Edinburgh last weekend, had an evening to forget as his errors directly resulted in two Leinster tries.

After just 30 seconds in, McHugh's attempted clearance was charged down and giant lock Hogan charged over for the try.

There were some flashes of brilliance from Leinster's returning Irish internationals, with both Horgan and captain Brian O'Driscoll prominent for Michael Cheika's side.

After a successful Contepomi penalty, O'Driscoll's superb pass set up Easterby's try with Jamie Heaslip also involved in the move.

Easterby had replaced Chris Whitaker, who had been forced off because of a shoulder injury.

Connacht cut the gap to 13-7 by the break, with Matt Mostyn and Daniel Riordan combining to send centre Yapp in under the posts and McHugh adding the simple extras.

McHugh kicked two penalties to a single Contepomi effort during a dull third quarter, although tempers then flared when the Connacht fly-half and Leinster prop Ronan McCormack scuffled and were subsequently sin-binned.

Malcolm O'Kelly, fresh from the Leinster bench, joined them in the bin after being found guilty of killing the ball as Connacht pressed for a try.

With a man advantage, Michael Bradley's side drew level at 16-16 thanks to Riordan's penalty, but D'Arcy nudged Leinster ahead again with a drop-goal seven minutes from time.

Horgan's injury-time try ended Connacht's hopes, and Hickie, after intercepting from McHugh in midfield, still had time to waltz over for another Leinster touchdown.

Connacht: D Riordan, M Mostyn, D Yapp, G Williams, K matthews, M McHugh, C Keane, B Wilkinson, J Fogarty, B Sturgess, D Gannon, A Farley, J Muldoon, M Lacey, C Rigney.
Replacements: McPhillips for Matthews 41, Tierney for Keane 66, Hogan for Wilkinson 65, Flavin for Fogarty 56, Swift for Lacey 78. Not Used: Ofisa, Warwick.

Leinster: G Dempsey; L Fitzgerald, B O'Driscoll, capt, S Horgan, D Hickie; F Contepomi, C Whitaker; R Corrigan, H Vermaas, W Green, T Hogan, O Finegan, S Keogh, K Gleeson, J Heaslip.
Replacements: D'Arcy for Fitzgerald 62, Easterby for Whitaker 25, McCormack for Corrigan 49, Jackman for Vermaas 74, O'Kelly for Finegan 57. Not Used: Ronan, Warner.

Attendance: 3,600.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU).



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